The Czechoslovakian Expedition

Originally Published in 1930

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THE first American archaeological expedition to work in Central Europe was that sent jointly last summer by the University Museum and the Peabody Museum of Harvard University under the direction of Mr. V. J. Fewkes. Of the nineteen separate sites excavated in the western part of Bohemia, the majority were suggested by the State archaeological Institute of Czechoslovakia, whose support and cooperation were in a large measure responsible for the Expedition’s successful accomplishments.

Skeletal remains with four jars or pots
Plate IV — A Bell Beaker Burial, Czechoslavakia.
Museum Image: 241093

Using Prague as headquarters, the expedition operated in localities within the radius of thirty miles from the capital, and in practically every site explored, remains of considerable importance and interest were discovered, ranging from the Early Neolithic Age culture through the Copper, Bronze, Iron and Protohistoric periods. Particularly important were the discoveries of a Bronze Age settlement of the so-called Silesian phase, fragments of iron objects found in the graves of the same culture, and the huge post-molds exposed in house-pits of the first phase of the Iron Age, all marking the first occurrences of their kind in Bohemia. Seven skeletal graves of the early Bronze period and two graves of the so-called Bell Beaker culture with their notable bronze and ceramic furniture may well be called the high points of the work.

After completion of the field work the staff made a tour of the rest of Czechoslovakia, of Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, studying museum collections and inspecting prehistoric sites. They feel strongly as a result of the summer’s work that the Balkan states offer unusual opportunities for fieldwork, and should yield important material for clarifying some of the more urgent problems in European prehistory.

Cite This Article

"The Czechoslovakian Expedition." Museum Bulletin I, no. 1 (January, 1930): 6-10. Accessed May 26, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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